Albert dishes up some salsa at the El Coyote Hot & Spicy Firefighter Salsa Competition

Albert dishes up some salsa at the El Coyote Hot & Spicy Firefighter Salsa Competition

Albert Lozano may be a Firefighter III on the A shift at Station 12, but he’s also the man at the center of a different kind of action. Albert is the volunteer coordinator for all of the community outreach events for his platoon. So when quitting time rolls around, he stays on to help put plans in motion that’ll keep his team involved with the city in a less dangerous environment.

For two years, he’s worked as the station liaison with the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund team to fill any opportunities where the charity could use an extra hand. “We worked the El Coyote Cafe salsa contest. It was fun! We had a good time manning the table and telling people what was in our salsa recipe,” shares Albert. Station 12 may have tied for second place in the salsa contest, but another surprise gave the team an even bigger memory to take home with them.

“We were asked to volunteer for the dunk tank too, and I was the second one in the tank. It was pretty nice day, so the water wasn’t too bad,” Albert explains. Not just anyone would think a dunk tank splash in brisk November would be refreshing, but Albert’s not just anyone. He keeps perspective by remembering that it’s all for a good cause. “I’m happy about having a good time with my work buddies and doing it all for charity.”

Jose-Rodriguez-02Charity and fun are the key words when Albert talks about the Hope for Firefighters event also. In the past, Station 12 has done everything from set?up booths to organize the muster practice, where firefighters teach teams of corporate sponsors how to compete in fun athletic games such as an old fashioned hose cart pull or bucket brigade. But once again, it’s their cooking skills that get all of the attention. “We took home Best Dessert in 2012. We were pretty proud of that,” says Albert.

Acting as station liaison is more than a labor of love for this single father. His appreciation for the cause combined with his devotion to the community is a reflection of the entire station. “The commander of our station got us involved after we weren’t active in the events for awhile,” Albert continues. “Now we’re all looking forward to Hope for Firefighters this year. We’re excited about getting involved. I’d definitely do it again!”

By Candace Nicholson